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PHOTO ESSAY: Canada Welcomes The World to The Vancouver 2010 Olympics

This is the 2nd of several Vancouver 2010 Olympics photoessays created by Kris Krüg.

Vancouver is filled with energy now that 2010 Winter Olympic Games has officially started.

The last week has been filled with the excited fervor of the last month and anticipation of the upcoming weeks.

Here is a photographic look into the last week of adventure and celebrations, before the officially opening of the Games in Vancouver.


The Olympic torch was carried downhill on the Blackcomb mountain by world champion and olympiad Steve Podborski. Steve won a bronze medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. Currently he is part of the VANOC and works within International Relations.



Premier Gordon Campbell seemingly is Canada's number one fan. Campbell has travelled around Canada for the entire length of the torch relay. Here he is handing out coveted British Columbia Olympic pins to fans at the Whistler Torch Celebration.


Willie Lewis - Squamish Nation

Vancouver is part of the Coast Salish territories and has a Four Host First Nation welcoming committee as part of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Willie Lewis, dressed in a traditional Aborginal outfit, was part of the Whistler Torch Relay Celebration.


Static Photography had the chance to hang out in Whistler for the weekend with Chris Wheeler who had been following the torch relay through all of Canada. We had the chance to do some zip trekking with him! Our longest run was 2200 m. :)


The Olympic Torch had an extended route through all of Vancouver with the relay going through all of the neighborhoods in Vancouver. The Vancouver city council accompanied by Mayor Gregor Robertson welcomed the torch when it came to City Hall



Vancouver Olympiad Lori Fung, with her gold medal, was present when the Olympic Torch came to the Vancouver City Hall. Fung was the first gold medalist awarded in the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics during the 1984 Summer Olympics which were held in Los Angeles, CA.



Iain Black welcomed the public to the opening of the VX Forum in Vancouver, BC. Black is Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development in Canada and is pictured here with Nadia Nascimento and Dave Olson of Invoke Media which is the parent company to twitter-based application Hootsuite.



This is the first Olympic Games where people are full-on involved with technology and the internet. Many fans often have out their own cameras to capture their memories themselves. With this sort of documentation present for the Vancouver Winter Olympics, some of the best Olympic news coverage will be coming from the internet!


There are many different pavilions popping up all over Vancouver with all sorts of awesome installations and displays. This is a touch screen graffitti media installation in the DigiBC part of the BC Pavilion. Here one of the creators is having fun creating some interactive art.



Mayor Gregor Robertson has been a very busy man during the preparations for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Here he is outside of the W2 Media and Culture House in the DTES. He was the speaker at the ribbon-cutting of this independent media house which opened to the public.

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games - Vancouver, British Columbia

The beautiful Olympic Athlete Village sits on the waters' edge of the False Creek. There was a bit of controversy when the athletes from Australia hung up their official Aussie flag, which is a copyrighted image. Despite some grievances with the IOC, Vancouver fought to keep the flag up!

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games - Vancouver, British Columbia

Bombardier, the company who designed the Olympic Torch for the Vancouver Winter Olympics, also designed the Olympic Line, a train that runs from the Main Street Skytrain Station to Granville Island. Bombardier has given Vancouver two of their streetcars, on loan from Brussels, Belgium. The Olympic Line is a 60 day demonstration project so get a ride while you can! 


Visitors have been packing into Vancouver from all over the world for the 2010 Winter Olympics. This group of women associated with Ukrainian team were photographed on their way into the Opening Ceremony on February 12th. 

Occupied Vancouver

Another type of visitor that has been sighted in Vancouver is the increase in public security, with the influx of police from other provinces. These police officers are in fact from four different Canadian provinces! 


It was very exciting to watch the crowd gather for the Opening Ceremony at the German Saxony House. The place was packed with locals and visitors for the three hour televised event. Of course, everyone went nuts when the Canadian team was ushered into BC Place. 


The biggest secret of the 2010 Winter Olympics was the identity of the person who was to light the final torch in Vancouver during the official welcoming of the Games. Wayne Gretzky ended up carrying the torch from BC Place to the final outdoor giant torch at Waterfront station in a great fanfare. The night ended with a fireworks-filled sky. 


The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games have only just begun. The city of Vancouver has ahead of it three weeks of events and celebrations!

This is only the beginning so make sure to check back for more photographic recaps from Static Photography! 

In case you missed it, here is our first photo essay about 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Thanks to Vancouver Access, Culture at the Olympics and the LA Times for republishing our first 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics photo essay!


Posted in Culture, Fans, Featured, Vancouver 2010, Venues, photosComments (0)

With Glowing Hearts… Webisode – The True North Media House

It’s apparent by the way we speak about the Games that we are passionate about the Olympics. We love to create fan stories and talk about the culture behind these amazing international events..

As individuals we have had the honour to attend, cover and enjoy several Olympic games.

In 2006, Kris and I where part of a delegation of Vancouver companies that attended the games in Torino, Italy. Accredited by the Piedmonte Media Centre, we generated fan stories, using YouTube and other web tools to share our experiences. We tested a new video streaming device built by iMate (JazJar), running on a software created by ComVue. We also held a symposium on Social Media and the Olympics at the BC Canada House.

This first hand experience helped us create our strategy for 2008 where we attended the games in Beijing, China. Again, we covered fan and cultural stories and took part in an academic symposium on Olympic research. Some of our social media coverage gain popularity and was distributed by the BBC, the LA Time and various other media outlets.

Before our adventures in Torino and Beijing, our multi-talented friend Dave Olson attended the games in Salt Lake City and was living in Nagano before the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Over the past few years, as a group, we have spoken at various conferences and events about the impact of citizen journalism, social media and the internet on the various Olympics, IOC and “ANY”OC brands. We sent VANOC several letters over the past 18 months requesting to meet with them, and have a discussion about this change in culture… Without any replies.

Andrew Lavigne, a filmaker has been working on a project called “With Glowing Hearts” a documentary film about the use of social media and the upcoming 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver..

In this webisode, Kris, Dave and Rebecca speak about an ad-hoc project we have been tinkering with since November 2008, it’s called the True North Media House.

“The True North Media House project aims to inspire social media creation and educate about best practices for sharing content with audience. We’ll do this through a variety of meet-ups, photo walks, field trips, and outings with international media makers and aggregating Olympic culture-related content licensed with a Creative Commons license.”

If you would like to register with the True North project, it’s simple.. just fill up our online application.

To find out more about Andre and his project, follow him on Twitter

Posted in Culture, Fans, Featured, Vancouver 2010, VideosComments (8)

Social Reporting from Vancouver 2010 – Open Letter #3

Open Letter #3 – Social Reporting from Vancouver 2010

With the impending Olympics in sight, here’s an update on True North Media House’s ongoing campaign to encourage and inspire social reporting of the arts, civic and sports stories happening in Vancouver in February 2010. This missive also contains a Olympics Media Toolkit to prepare you for creating and publishing your documentation during the forthcoming events.

The True North Media House (TNMH) campaign began in earnest a couple years ago with the intent of starting a conversation about the role of social media at Vancouver/Whistler 2010 and to share experience from covering previous Olympic Games and other significant world events. Further, we aimed to gather info and experience for coverage of future games as well as having some enjoyment building international relationships and audiences. Here’s a recap of progress of the campaign objectives so far.

Spark the conversation

From the first video dispatch outside the Worldwide Press Briefing (and ORN Press Conference), TNMH aimed to introduce “social media/journalism/reporting” as a viable and vital enhancement to the accredited Olympic coverage. By inspiring and educating content creators, we felt unique stories – including often controversial civic and community concerns as well as lesser-known athletes – could find a larger audience.

Indeed, from the remarkable worldwide reaction to the first Open Letter to VANOC, the conversation took off across both “social” and “traditional” media outlets who looked to our experience and research to understand the ‘lay of the land’ for citizen coverage in this age of ubiquitous web publishing tools (much of which was recapped in the Open Letter #2). Since starting the conversation, several co-working spaces have opened their doors to visiting reporters and local-centric media outlets are soliciting documenters with a story to tell to contribute heralding a tremendous opportunity for grassroots journalism.

Within this conversation, we explored conundrums like: “What is media?” “What is allowed?” “What is encouraged?” “What sorts accreditations are available?” and “What are the stories no one else will be covering?”  We also researched IOC’s intellectual property federal legislationVancouver’s host city by-lawsVANOC’s brand protection policies, and what regular folks are able to do in light of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the recent Canadian Supreme Court decision regarding journalism. We then shared our findings with anyone who expressed interest.

Share best practices

Along this campaign, we’ve demonstrated and educated other about the tips and tactics learned by covering the past 3 Olympics on the ground. Along with the web publishing skills, we prepared a dossier of educational resources including original sources of laws and distilled this research to produce a Media Cans and Can’ts by interviewing diverse people with different points of view to define the grey area between IOC’s guidelines and a citizen’s right to self-expression.

The joy of covering world events comes from creating interesting content and publishing it to an enthused audience. My collaborators and I shared this passion and knowledge publicly with other community media organizations including presentations at Fresh Media at W2, Capilano College, Northern Voice, Vancouver Blogathon plus participation in Journalism that Matters, and dozens of other events about the nuts and bolts of publishing content within the new media paradigm. Additionally, my colleagues and I have mentored others about media literacy and creation including W2 Bladerunners program and Purple Thistle’s Youngunz program.

Pass it around

At their recent Copehagen congress, the assembled IOC members heard a lecture called “The Digital Revolution” in which Martin Sorrell explained the landscape of citizen coverageand admonished the IOC to adjust IP regulations to embrace fan-driven media creation, especially from the youth. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see how rights-holding media embrace and deputize the “folks on the ground” to enrich their coverage. As background, the rights-holding media will have exclusive use of the IBC at Canada Place 2and a 2nd tier of accreditation will use the BC IMC at Robson Square.

By pro-actively welcoming and collaborating with social media making visitors to Vancouver, TNMH will spark locals to share their area knowledge beyond the standard tourist circuit to enhance visitor’s experience and share the true spirit of who we are as a community.

Further, by documenting all the operational and academic knowledge we gather, this campaign can pass info along to for evolving coverage in London and Sochi – along with social reporters and documenters at other world events. The same way, concerned citizens in Vancouver (and everywhere else) looked to citizen reporters for unique and forthright coverage of cataclysmic world events like the Iran election and Copenhagen climate summit, this is an opportunity to tell the world about the impact of this global event in the communities we know best.

Demonstrate openness

No matter what your personal opinions about the Games are, it is important to understand your rights to share your stories with an audience. This impartial view is very important as the Olympics coming to Vancouver raised a litany of controversies and divided the citizenry in many ways. However, whether you wish to protest or celebrate, the TNMH campaigns feels your story is important to share if you so choose.

While not always easy, the campaign has kept most all communication public, meetings accessible, and outreached to other organizing, security and media entities to plainly state intentions. In fact, the producers of “With Glowing Hearts” – a documentary film project exploring the intersection of social justice, social media and social change in Vancouver – attended many TNMH meetings, events and lectures to create a segment about the campaign which tells more of the backstory of our efforts – foibles and all.

Find the stories

World news stories are regularly broken and enhanced by regular people using new web tools but important to have context with the content. What will be the compelling stories which will live on for decades after the Games? What ground-breaking story will break on Twitter first? How will the protests and celebrations go-exist? Will Vancouver really turn into a “big brother” zone? How will visitors view Vancouver in light of the social issues affecting the DTES?

No matter what the stories are, this will be the first Olympics in which people may collectively have a voice as loud as huge media conglomerates to place these experiences in the proper cultural place.

Further, communities like Squamish are almost ignored as they are not “Official” Olympic cities and/or some visitors may hesitate to trek out to suburban events like the Olympic live sites in Surrey. TNMH will provide a context to organize field trips to meet one another and share skills and find compelling stories beyond the athletic events.

A Moveable Feast

With prevalent wi-fi and data networks, “space” is less important than in years past. Like the stories themselves, social media making is a distributed experience. Rather than one physical location, the TNMH campaign will continue from a variety of locations throughout the Games.

Throughout the Olympic fortnight, TNMH will be a “moveable feast” with photowalks, museums trips, impromptu interviews, and meet-ups at international hospitality houses. Encouraging a smorgasbord of activities will leave room for exploring the issues of concern, developing international friendship,  and fostering spontaneous journalistic and artistic collaboration.

If you have a museum, hospitality house, commercial enterprise, symposium, or event and would like share your message with an audience, consider hosting a TNMH meetup event and inviting a group of blogger, photographers, podcasters, videographers, etc. to spread your news. Fill out the contact form or ping @tnmh on Twitter with details and we’ll add to theTNMH Event Calendar.

It’s all of us

The True North Media House is wherever you are and what you make it. It’s all of us making the people’s history. For me personally, the idea of sharing grassroots coverage of the Olympics began in Nagano pre-Olympics, blossomed in SLC 2002 and grew working on innovative coverage with my collaborators during Torino 06 and Beijing 08 ~ Now, with all the jamboree in our backyard, I can’t wait to see what we produce together in Vancouver/Whistler 2010.

2010 Social Reporter Toolbox

To prepare for documenting your Olympic experience, here’s a reading list and handy resources (Note: This toolbox will become a growing resource page – for additions, please submit info via contact form or ping @tnmh on Twitter):

Reporting resources

The Cans and Can’ts of Media During the Olympics on True North Media House

TNMH resources including IOC, VANOC, City of Vancouver and more

Independent Reporters Guide to 2010 on Rabble.ca

IOC’s Internet Guidelines for Written Press and other Non-Rights Holding Media (.pdf)

2010Vanfan’s Olympic Venue map

Vancouver wi-fi map (thanks Noah)

Vancouver host city “getting around”

Co-working spaces

For media makers needing a desk and/or equipment, physical work space is abundant – here are a few to investigate:

BOB co-working centre – Building Opportunities through Business program has a drop-in co-working space and is hosting some CODE activities

Network Hub – a entreptrenuraial co-working space renting desks by hour or month

W2’s Media Arts Centre (also hosting the Legal Observers program) – call for pricing details

BC International Media Centre – run by the provincial secretariat and hosting some accredited trad. and social media outlets

Beyond these resources are dozens of coffee shops, bars and studios from which to work – see wi-fi map.

Publishing outlets

Several Vancouver-centric media outlets are welcoming writers, photographers to publish content to their communities – inclusion in this list is not necessarily an endorsement, research to find a publishing home which best fits for your interests and work.

Vancouver Observer Olympics – Contribute

Rabble.ca – Interested in covering the 2010 Olympic Games? email: editor [@] rabble.ca

Now Public Olympics channel + photo pool

Orato – hiring online journalists

Media Co-Op /Dominion Olympics

Get your own free WordPress blog

Bonus reading

Bob Mackin’s 2010 Gold Rush – reporter with full access and experience covering Olympic Games

Kris Krug “Doin’ it for the love – Reflection on the future” essay from Journalism that Matters conference

Vancouver blogger Miss 604’s Olympic coverage

@KK Vancouver 2010 Olympics Twitter list

“Social Media and the Olympics” panel video from Northern Voice

Vancouver 2010 Olympics Roundtable video

OlyBlog.com – Maurice Cardinal’s punditry

TNMH social bookmarks on Delicious

Stay in Touch

Social search for “True North Media House” and/or “TNMH”  content (RSS)

Public Mailing list group

TNMH Twitter

TNMH Media contact

Extra Thanks

Along with other organizational compatriots who contributed in meaningful ways along the journey, Sixty4Media.com and Catalyst Internet contributed key design and development efforts, consider these fine companies for your web development needs.

Posted in Culture, Fans, Vancouver 2010Comments (0)

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